News & Notables

DeSales Dance Season Opens with "Amplify"

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski | Oct 15, 2014

Emerging Choreographers Concert Features Slate of World Premiere Dances

The Dance students of DeSales University open their 2014-2015 dance season with Amplify: The Emerging Choreographers Concert, a premiere program of new dances in which student choreographers examine the effects of amplifying physical action through their choreography.  

The Division of Performing Arts at DeSales University is pleased to celebrate the opening of the Dance Department’s 32nd season with this annual concert showcasing our emerging student choreographers. From the choreography to the performers, designers, and stage managers, the concert is entirely student-run. Amplify is slated for four performances in the intimate Schubert Theatre of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University from November 7 to 9, 2014.

"One of the great qualities about our Dance Department is that the students get training as performers, dance teachers, and choreographers. And it is in this last arena especially—as choreographers—that our students always surprise,” says John Bell, division head. “I am a firm believer that there is no greater testament to the belief a teacher can show to a student than to turn the stage over to the student. That’s what this concert does. The dance majors get to spread their artistic wings by bringing choreographic life to visions that, up to this point, have existed only in their imaginations.”

 Presented in the three-quarter-round Schubert Theatre, the audience gets to experience these dances up close and personal. “The Schubert Theatre is a marvelous space for dance. When the theatre is full, it bursts with an audience energy that is only compounded by the dance energy on stage. Hearing the dancers breathe and hearing their feet work the floor reminds us all of the immense training and hard work required of those who devote their lives to dance,” says Bell.

This year, each choreographer was asked to consider the concept of amplification as it related to movement, rhythm, and momentum. Given the intimacy of the space, this choreographic theme should result in a truly exciting dance performance.

The program features seven world premier dances in genre as diverse as ballet, tap, and modern dance. Julissa DeJesus’ Oxytocin utilizes spoken word and movement in a piece exploring the looping connections we've made in our lives that have been cut short. In sLAy, choreographer Kristin Gorman uses quick, sharp, fierce movement to explore pop culture trends prominent in music, videos, and movie award shows. Amanda Urbanski’s Paradigm explores how perspectives can be challenged and transformed through ever-changing spatial relationships among her dancer. 

Samantha Jones’ Resilience is a ballet pointe piece created with no intention of maintaining classical ballet technique. Emphasizing the strength required of pointe dancing, the dancers intertwine with one another creating compelling and ever-changing imagery. Emma Lepore’s original tap dance Beyond the Borderline explores the complexities present in human relationships and questioning why human beings treat one another so poorly.

Sarah Rose’s comical jazz piece Blowout is infused with “hairography” and humor that invites the audience to experience the endeavors of a hair salon from the stylists' perspective. Choreographer Marla Wolfinger explores the ellipsis saying that those three dots are “quite possibly the most important source of eternal hope and ultimate letdown in our daily lives.” Her dance Synching invites the audience into a world where technology controls everything we do and the observation that touch screens are actually making us lose touch.

Performances are Friday, November 7 at 8 p.m., Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 9 at 2:00 p.m. and take place in the Schubert Theatre of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. There is a special ticket price of $7 for DSU faculty, staff, and students. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center box office at 610-282-3192 or by visiting the web site at

The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a listening enhancement system. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.

See More Latest News >>

Main Stage

Schubert Theatre